The story of hunger is all too real for 2 out of every 3 children in the Chimacum School District. These kids rely on their school's free and reduced meal programs for their daily nutrition during the school week. In Jefferson County, Chimacum Backpacks For Kids is leading the challenge to feed children who often go hungry on the weekends.
During the school year, this program provides 'food-insecure' students with child-friendly, non-perishable, practical-to-prepare weekend groceries, enough to ensure 6 meals, 2 snacks and 2 drinks. Bags are packed each week by volunteers. For the summer, 300 bags are packed and distributed to the Jefferson County Library and a local Irondale church for weekly distribution.
Backpack food programs have been shown to:
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In the Beginning:
We got started in 2010 when Peace Luthern Fellowship decided to make Backpacks for Kids their local mission. PLF's congregation funded the program at that time. Pam Kelly volunteered to take the led as she saw the need of our children going home for the weekend. She and her family were sending home 20! weekend food bags.
The Middle Years:
Then in 2011 things took off! Pam needed more help and the church added more volunteers. Karen and Harold Jensen began doing public events and Karen began writing grants to generate more income to fund the program. Others from the surrounding community pitched in to help with shopping and packing and they started serving more kids.
With No End In Sight:
Now, in 2018, we are a stand alone, proudly incorporated, charity with volunteers from all areas of our community and we are now sending food bags home with 70 - 90 kids each week of the school year. Plus we have distributied 350 bags this summer through the library and churches.